Fave Reads: Tales from Off the Grid

For someone who spends an exorbitant amount of time in my suburban home with my nose in a screen, I’m strangely drawn to lives lived unconventionally off the grid. Get (figuratively) lost with these stories of people who (literally) got lost.

North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek – I’ve hiked approximately 1.2% of the Appalachian Trail, so needless to say it’s going to take me a while to finish all 2,200 miles. Legendary ultra-runner Scott Jurek did it in just forty-six days, eight hours and seven minutes. (P.s. If you want to read another tale of Jurek’s endurance feats, check out this classic)

Educated by Tara Westover – This was THE book last year. It seems everyone had it on their “Best Of” lists. As they should. Westover’s journey from living off the grid in the mountains of Idaho to walking the halls of Harvard & Cambridge is inspiring and empowering.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah – The Alaskan frontier is all fun and adventure until you realize how scary your surroundings are – both the brutal landscape you live in and the dangerous family members you live with. I couldn’t put this novel down.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder – Those “Tiny Home” home-improvement shows are so appealing – chuck consumerism in favor of a small abode and simple lifestyle. However, for some Americans the nomadic RV lifestyle is complicated and more financial necessity than choice.

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn – Like most, I’ve made the “Drink the Kool-aid” joke a time or two. After reading this non-fiction account of the tragedy at Jonestown, I’ll think twice in the future. A cautionary tale of good people making bad decisions at the foot of a charismatic, but ill-intentioned, leader.

This is the third installment in a series of my favorite books I read in 2018. I did a similar series in 20172016 and 2015.

How does this worker-bee/soccer-mom/rickety-runner find time to read 50 books a year? This is my secret.

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